Xi Jinping’s favorite local English pub has a new owner — a Chinese one.
During his state visit to the UK last October, Xi and David Cameron dropped by The Plough at Cadsden, a village pub in Buckinghamshire minutes away from the prime minister’s official countryside home at Chequers, for some fish and chips and a pint.
The Plough has now been purchased by SinoFortune, a major Chinese firm that is also involved in deals to build theme parks and railroads in London, the BBC reports.
“The English pub concept is growing very fast in China and it’s the best way culturally to link people from different countries and build friendships,” Peter Zhang, managing director of SinoFortone Investment, said.
Following Xi’s visit, The Plough really started to take off, becoming a popular tourist attraction for Chinese visitors to the UK, eager for an authentic English pub experience with a little star power added on.
At the pub, Xi sipped up on a glass of Greene King IPA, causing the British brewery’s sales in China to skyrocket late last year. One importer working in China said that usually he would import 6,000 bottles of Greene King IPA into China each month. That number went up to 80,000 bottles after Xi’s visit.
Watch the rowdy evening out at the pub that started it all:
This isn’t the first establishment that has found newfound success thanks to Xi’s patronage. Back in late 2013, Xi ate a much-publicized meal at a baozi shop in Beijing. The shop soon became a highlight in five-day tour packages in Beijing, capitalizing on its extreme popularity by announcing last year that it planned to IPO and create a “steamed bun research center.”
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